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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Heart of Dixie
Home country: USA
Current location: Montgomery Alabama
Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 14,705

Journal Archives

"Too poor, too black."

This is the Republican vision for America.

Uniontown, Alabama is on the route across Central Alabama (the Black Belt) into Central Mississippi - US Route 80, the Dixie Overland Highway.

From Wiki: As an original US Highway commissioned in 1926, US 80 was the first all-weather coast-to-coast route available to auto travelers. For a time known as the "Broadway of America", its history is second only to US 66 in American highway folklore, as several significant historical events have occurred on or near US 80. Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed approximately four miles (6.4 km) south of US 80 in Gibsland, Louisiana. Lee Harvey Oswald was captured at the Texas Theatre on Jefferson Street in Oak Cliff, which at the time was a business spur of US 80.

Uniontown was recently in the news regarding their acceptance of Tennessee "coal ash" disposal, some of that MAGA coal-generated by-product.

And this is what we get:

Kenneth Miller finds good news in evolution

Source: Religious New Service, by Yonat Shimron


In the words of scientist and atheist Sam Harris, “We are driverless cars running a program we did not write, which we cannot control, and whose existence we are not even wired to sense.”

Kenneth R. Miller, a Brown University biologist, agrees that humans evolved according to Charles Darwin’s law of natural selection, but in his new book, “The Human Instinct,” he suggests “we are more.”

Humans are also conscious, self-aware, creative and intelligent. We are, in Miller’s view, exceptional in those very traits.


"By the human instinct, I mean the collection of traits and behaviors and cognitive abilities that make us unique among all the organisms on planet Earth. I also mean the processes that gave rise in us to reason, consciousness and free will. These are the things that make the human species absolutely unique.

"What I mean by special is not a chest-thumping “we’re-the-pinnacle-of-creation,” but an acceptance of responsibility. Of all the creatures that inhabit the planet, we’re the only ones who are aware of where we came from, what gave rise to us and what effect we’re having on the future of this planet. That gives us a special responsibility that no other species can possess. We’re the only ones aware of a process called extinction. We’re the only ones aware of our global footprint on this planet. We’re the only ones that can take steps to safeguard the biodiversity and future of the planet. That alone makes human beings special."


Do you go to church?

Every Sunday and on holy days. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and I will keep on practicing until I get it right.

Read it all at: https://religionnews.com/2018/04/19/kenneth-miller-finds-good-news-in-evolution/

Beyonce to donate $100,000 for scholarships at 4 schools, including Tuskegee University

Source: AL.com, by Mary Colurso

How to follow a blockbuster performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival?

If you're Beyonce, the answer is simple: Announce $100,000 in scholarships for four historically black colleges and universities.

Alabama's Tuskegee University is among the schools that will benefit from the Homecoming Scholars Award Program, via the singer's BeyGood foundation. The others are Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans; Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio; and Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

A student at each of the four schools will receive $25,000 in scholarship money for the 2018-2019 academic year, according to a statement on Beyonce's website.


Beyonce, the first black woman to headline at Coachella, will perform again at the festival on April 21.

Read it all at: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2018/04/beyonce_to_donate_100000_for_s.html

Beyonce knew Coachella's white audience wouldn't understand her set. That's why she did it.

I watched it live streaming. It was fantastic, Beyoncé, the songs, the music, the performances, the sheer size of it!

I didn't see THIS show. Of course, I'm white. And stunned! Why didn't I see it? It was all right there.

Source: Vox, by Caroline Framke


As Beyoncé herself reminded the crowd during her historic Coachella performance last Saturday, she is the first black woman to headline the music festival. (“Ain’t that about a bitch?” she added, with a tiny but telling smirk.) But even if she hadn’t literally said it, every single minute of her set was imbued with her acknowledgment of that fact, which was, as the New Yorker’s Doreen St. Félix put it, “an education in black expression.”

Throughout the two-hour set, St. Félix writes, Beyoncé put on a show that honored “New Orleans and its horns, Houston and its chopped and screwed beats, Brooklyn and its rap velocity, Kingston and its dancehall, and Nigeria and the legacy of its dissenter, Fela Kuti.” At one point, she sang a heartfelt rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a song rooted in the civil rights movement that is commonly referred to as the “black national anthem.”


“I told Beyonce that I was afraid that the predominately white audience at Coachella would be confused by all of the black culture and Black college culture because it was something that they might not get,” Knowles-Lawson wrote on Instagram the Monday after her daughter’s performance. “Her brave response to me made me feel a bit selfish and ashamed.”

Knowles-Lawson said Beyoncé told her that she wanted to use her platform to elevate and educate people, to do “what’s best for the world and not what is most popular.” In fact, Knowles-Lawson added, Beyoncé deliberately referenced the aesthetics of historically black colleges and universities in order to encourage more people to go there — a wish she quickly backed up by announcing that she will sponsor scholarships to Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee, and Bethune-Cookman universities this year.


Read it all at: https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/17/17247954/coachella-2018-beyonce-beychella-references

Beyonce's Coachella performance was most streamed in YouTube history

Reminder - Get ready for "Coachella Weekend 2" including Queen Bey!

Source: Wonder Wall, by Mark Gray

The singer set a YouTube record with 458,000 simultaneous viewers. TMZ pointed out that it's the most ever for a single Coachella performance since YouTube started streaming the festival eight years ago.

She shattered the previous record, set last year, by Lady Gaga. Coincidentally, Gaga only played Coachella last year after Bey canceled because she was due to give birth to her and Jay-Z's twins. Beyonce's streaming audience was 75 percent larger than Gaga's.

MZ said the festival did insanely well, in general having generated 43.1 million live stream views in 232 countries. This year's Coachella is now the most-viewed live music festival ever on YouTube.

One of those viewers was none other than Adele, who happily let the world know that she was watching her "idol" Beyonce.

Crazy super fans!


Read and see it all at: https://www.wonderwall.com/news/beyonces-coachella-performance-was-most-streamed-youtube-history-3013802.article


"He was a good man."

Source: Catholic News Service, by Cindy Wooden


Question-and-answer sessions with youngsters are a standard part of Pope Francis’ parish visits. And, at St. Paul of the Cross parish April 15, there were the usual questions like, “How did you feel when you were elected pope?”

But then it was Emanuele’s turn. The young boy smiled at the pope as he approached the microphone. But then froze. “I can’t do it,” Emanuele said.


“How beautiful to hear a son say of his father, ‘He was good,'” the pope told the children. “And what a beautiful witness of a son who inherited the strength of his father, who had the courage to cry in front of all of us. If that man was able to make his children like that, then it’s true, he was a good man. He was a good man.

“That man did not have the gift of faith, he wasn’t a believer, but he had his children baptized. He had a good heart,” Pope Francis said.

“God is the one who says who goes to heaven,” the pope explained.


Read it all at: https://cnstopstories.com/2018/04/16/is-my-dad-in-heaven-little-boy-asks-pope/

Red Letter Revival

Red Letter Christians

A "new" evangelicalism based on the words of Jesus (the 'red letters' in the Bible).

The other kind of evangelical. The ones like us!

"Dozens of evangelical leaders meet to discuss how Trump era...

has unleashed ‘grotesque caricature’ of their faith"

Source: Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey

About 50 top leaders of major evangelical institutions will attend an invitation-only gathering this week to discuss the future and the “soul” of evangelicalism at a time when many of them are concerned their faith group has become tainted by its association with divisive politics under President Trump. It runs Monday and Tuesday.

The diverse group, which includes nationally known pastors such as Tim Keller and A.R. Bernard, is expected to include leaders of major ministries, denominations, colleges and seminaries. The gathering will take place at Wheaton College, an evangelical college outside of Chicago, according to organizer Doug Birdsall, honorary chair of Lausanne, an international movement of evangelicals.


The purpose of the Wheaton meeting is to try to shift the conversation back to core questions of the faith, and Trump as an individual will not be the focus of discussion, Birdsall said. Nonetheless, the president will be the “elephant in the room,” he said, because under his leadership the term “evangelical” has become negatively associated in the minds of many Americans with regard to topics such as racism and nationalism.


“When you Google evangelicals, you get Trump,” Birdsall said. “When people say what does it mean to be an evangelical, people don’t say evangelism or the gospel. There’s a grotesque caricature of what it means to be an evangelical.”


Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/04/12/when-you-google-evangelicals-you-get-trump-high-profile-evangelicals-will-meet-privately-to-discuss-their-future/

Yes, "even here!"

Why some Atheists believe atheism is a belief system.

Material posted at American Atheists website:

Under "What is Atheism?"

Despite the fact that atheism is not a religion, atheism is protected by many of the same Constitutional rights that protect religion. That, however, does not mean that atheism is itself a religion, only that our sincerely held (lack of) beliefs are protected in the same way as the religious beliefs of others. Similarly, many “interfaith” groups will include atheists. This, again, does not mean that atheism is a religious belief.

Some groups will use words like Agnostic, Humanist, Secular, Bright, Freethinker, or any number of other terms to self identify. Those words are perfectly fine as a self-identifier, but we strongly advocate using the word that people understand: Atheist. Don’t use those other terms to disguise your atheism or to shy away from a word that some think has a negative connotation. We should be using the terminology that is most accurate and that answers the question that is actually being asked. We should use the term that binds all of us together.

If you call yourself a humanist, a freethinker, a bright, or even a “cultural Catholic” and lack belief in a god, you are an atheist. Don’t shy away from the term. Embrace it.

Agnostic isn’t just a “weaker” version of being an atheist. It answers a different question. Atheism is about what you believe. Agnosticism is about what you know.

Under "History, Origins."

Founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, American Atheists has been fighting to protect the absolute separation of religion from government for over 50 years.

Argument before the US Supreme Court:

Your petitioners are atheists and they define their beliefs as follows. An atheist loves his fellow man instead of god.

An atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth for all men together to enjoy.

An atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it, and enjoy it.

An atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god.

An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church.

An atheist believes
that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life.

He believes that we cannot rely on a god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter.

He believes
that we are our brother’s keepers and are keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now.”

The Number One argument of the New Atheist? "Atheism is (not) a religion!"

One of those weird paradoxes.

This map matches up pretty close with Red State/Blue State maps.

But this is Blue - Income over $100,000 per household.

Red - Income under $25,000 per household.

How does this make any sense?

More at: http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/2018/mapping-incomes/index.html
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